JD Gaming went into the LPL final on Sunday as one of the best stories in League esports. But they had one more mountain to climb to win the league, and that was defending world champions Invictus Gaming.
The challenge proved too much as IG swept JDG in three straight games to finally claim the LPL crown that eluded them last year. Without Royal Never Give Up to upset them, IG crushed their opposition with a familiar style we’ve seen so many times before.
The first two games went by the same script. On blue side for both, IG drafted strong champions for star top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok. TheShy dominated his lane at Worlds last year and that seemed to have spooked JDG. JDG’s Zhang “Zoom” Xing-Ran has been a beast all year, but they drafted losing matchups for him, hoping to make it up in the mid game.
IG didn’t let that happen. TheShy’s pressure, along with mid laner Song “Rookie” Eui-jin’s superior lane presence, gave IG the advantage in map control and roaming. JDG had opportunities, but in both games, IG broke open the bot lane and made it incredibly difficult for JDG to come back.
In the third game, JDG finally got on blue side and drafted winning solo lanes, including a Jayce for Zoom. Mid laner Zeng “YaGao” Qi finally had pressure on Rookie’s Ryze with Syndra, and JDG went into the mid game with a lead for the first time all series.
It was a bloody game—there were 26 kills in the first 16 minutes. As fights broke out across the map, JDG won a skirmish in the top lane that led to them securing Baron 23 minutes into the game. But when JDG tried to push for the bot lane inhibitor turret, IG won a massive teamfight, taking down four players on JDG.
From this moment on, IG played very aggressively and won late objectives, including taking the second Baron around the 30-minute mark. And a few minutes later, IG marched through the bot lane, wiped out JDG, and destroyed their Nexus to secure the series sweep.
With this victory, IG will now head to the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational where they’ll get the chance to play against the best teams from around the world. MSI 2019 begins on May 1.